You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Psalms 26:3 NKJV).  

“I have come as a light into the world, that whosoever believes in me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46 NKJV). 

I was going to write about the election and sin and fraud. I changed my mind. It is a redemptive and good devotional but not for today. Then I was going to tell you the story when at lunch one time with my mother-in-law, I squirted a bottle of catsup in her face. And then moments later, while at the cashier counter, I spilled a cup of unwrapped toothpicks into my open-weave sweater and looked much like a porcupine as I left the diner. Still, not for today. I AM going to tell you about looking with eyes wide open at the Light.

Early last spring, during the season of Lent, I decided I was going to light a candle in a red votive cup to remind me of the presence of Jesus in my home. I remembered the red, illuminated votive at my church as a child and how often it comforted me that I was not alone. So, I lit a candle and placed it into a red votive cup and set it on a small table in my living room.

What a hassle! The constant changing out of the burned candle, the ever watchfulness so it did not burn the house down, and remembering to blow it out before I left the house were too much. Instead I placed a battery-operated one in the votive. I did not like it. Unnatural looking and too dim. Then I remembered a small lamp with a red, beaded shade I had in storage. Just the thing! I set it on the small table, plugged it in, and there it has set since before Ash Wednesday. Always on and always a reminder.

We are approaching Advent, the season of Light. Our nation is in turmoil in more ways than one, but we will be at perfect peace as our minds are stayed (fixed with Gorilla Glue) on Him. I have been comforted, encouraged, and inspired by my ever-present and lit, red-shaded lamp. How can I be afraid when He is always with me? Jesus is at my side, a friend to the end, my Lord and my Savior. Jesus is the life-giving promise of the Father to a dying world.

As the Old Testament came to a close, the world waited, groaning in the long, dark night of the soul, longing for relief. And to this season we come, too. The chains of our past and present clank against our ankles, and the thought of gutting out another year exhausts us.

This year, let us notice the Light, notice Emmanuel, God with us. Notice that Christ’s advent actually makes a difference in our world dark with fear and oppression. Jesus is still the Light of the World…and He is coming! 

~ Beth Bankert

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